You can't compare coffee to pizza, according to Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.
In a recent Marketplace interview, he discussed his company's forthcoming line of higher-end cafes, comparing them to options offered by a luxury car brand. When we suggested that coffee is more like pizza — which ranges from pricey artisanal pies to cheap and greasy slices — Schultz disagreed:
I mean, I wouldn’t use pizza because I think it’s too much of a commodity, but I understand the analogy. I think, it’s not just the coffee, it’s the experience. As an example, they’re spending about 40 minutes, the average customer, inside the roaster because the experience is a cathedral of coffee. It is the Willy Wonka of coffee. You will not believe it when it opens on the corner of 9th and 15th in New York.
So we asked you: do you think pizza is a commodity?
Some of you strongly disagreed with Schultz:
@Marketplace "Pizza is a commodity", but coffee is not? Seriously?
— Gilbert Rodriguez Jr (@GilRodJr) December 8, 2016
— Josh Kramer (@jkjustjoshing) December 8, 2016
— Charles (@Cmarczynski) December 8, 2016
— Seth Sheldon (@sheldondata) December 8, 2016
A couple of you said coffee is more of commodity because of its ubiquity:
— Patrick C Sutton (@patricksutton72) December 8, 2016
@Marketplace coffee is more of a commodity than pizza. I can make a great cup of joe at home
— Steve Klish (@SteveKlish) December 8, 2016
— Jessica R. Hoffman (@jesstalksshop) December 8, 2016
— Joanna Oltman Smith (@jooltman) December 8, 2016
...and some of you had evidence to back up your opinion:
— Steve Wallen (@stevewallen) December 8, 2016
— Alex&ra LegSki (@lex_ski) December 8, 2016
@Marketplace coffee is a literal commodity that is traded on the NYMEX. Schultz stating pizza is MORE of a commodity than coffee is ignorant
— Brian Walter (@BMWalt) December 8, 2016
And at least one of you agreed with Schultz's comparison:
— Michael Nicolaou (@SAWatcherTX) December 8, 2016
“I think the best compliment I can give is not to say how much your programs have taught me (a ton), but how much Marketplace has motivated me to go out and teach myself.” – Michael in Arlington, VABEFORE YOU GO